Relationship of diaphragmatic contractility to diaphragmatic blood flow in newborn lambs

D. G. Nichols, S. Howell, J. Massik, R. C. Koehler, C. A. Gleason, J. R. Buck, R. S. Fitzgerald, R. J. Traystman, J. L. Robotham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We determined the relationship of diaphragmatic contraction rate to diaphragmatic blood flow (Q̇di), metabolism, and contractility in nine open-chested mechanically ventilated newborn lambs. The diaphragm was paced for 15 min at slow (20/min) and fast (100/min) contraction rates each followed by a 30-min rest period. There was a mild reduction in transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi) during the slow contraction period accompanied by a shift to the right of the curve relating stimulation frequency (10-100 Hz) to Pdi. Pdi returned to control at the start of the fast contraction period, but then fell by 30% within 2 min with continued fast contraction rates. The frequency-Pdi curve was significantly shifted to the right. Q̇di, O2 transport, and O2 consumption increased during slow contraction and to an even greater extent during fast contraction. Fractional O2 extraction reached an apparent maximum during slow contraction. Lactate efflux from the right phrenic vein during slow contraction remained unchanged from control. During fast contraction lactate efflux rose proportionately more than did O2 consumption. We conclude that the energy demands at fast rates of diaphragmatic contraction in newborn lambs cannot be met by aerobic metabolism alone despite increasing O2 transport to the diaphragm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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